The ride-sharing company Uber continues to spark controversy throughout the world, as authorities in South Korea placed employees under arrest this week (including the country’s brand manager) and police in France raided the company’s offices on Monday.
According to ZDNet, a business technology news website, Uber is breaking a South Korean law that makes it illegal for unregistered transportation companies to operate. Uber has teamed up with South Korean car services with unlicensed drivers, and reportedly has received 20% in commission through the partnerships. Additionally, Uber is under investigation in the country for failing to register its app with the Korea Communication Commission and illegally cultivating private information from customers.
In the ZDnet piece, a spokesperson for Seoul District Police stated that, “Uber's service is used worldwide, but most of its cars and drivers are unlicensed. It disturbs the cab industry, and they are not paying any taxes because there are no proper taxation processes in place." Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was also booked in South Korea, the second indictment the country has handed him. South Korean authorities claim they will issue an arrest warrant for him if he continues to disobey the summons.
Meanwhile, Le Monde is reporting that 25 cops raided Uber’s Paris offices, seizing documents and cell phones. French law now enables Uber to operate in the country, but still requires the necessary insurance and licenses. Despite this, Uber’s peer-to-peer service, uberPOP, has continued to operate in the country, leading to arrests of non-approved drivers.
Uber released a statement to Business Insider blaming the raid on a piece of French legislation it believes to be violation of EU law: “While reaffirming its commitment to transparency and to continue working positively with the French authorities, Uber takes note of this raid and is more than ever determined to vigorously defend the rights conferred upon it by EU law and the French Constitution.”
These raids come shortly after Uber had established a run of positive headlines by teaming up with the United Nations in an effort to hire a million female drivers over the next five years.
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